Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 24   No. 6                   June,   2013

This Issue...


William Davis
There were no miracles, no power, no gifts, no healings, nothing but the theatrical antics and delusions of men. What was claimed for the great power of God was nothing more than musical hype and psychologically induced emotionalism.

        I would like to begin by giving some background information concerning my roots in Pentecostalism. I believe it is important for anyone reading this to understand that I am not someone new to the Pentecostal or Charismatic movement. My roots go down deep into Pentecostalism. I was a third generation Pentecostal. My maternal grandparents were “old time” Pentecostals and my grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher of the old style. As a matter of fact, I was a Pentecostal before there was anyone known as a “charismatic.”
        Actually, in the old days most people did not call themselves Pentecostals, they called themselves Holiness or Full Gospel. I never remember my Dad calling himself a Pentecostal. He always said he was Holiness. This is one reason Pentecostals in the old days were branded as “holy rollers.” The point I am trying to make is that I am no stranger to Pentecostalism, its doctrines, its worship and its experiences. Neither am I a stranger to charismatic doctrines, worship and experiences.
        I was in Pentecostalism over 50 years of my life. As a boy I can remember the old camp-meeting days when we worshiped under a tin roof and sawdust on a dirt floor. My family’s roots were originally in the Congregational Holiness denomination — a group that splintered off from the Pentecostal Holiness. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, a fairly large city, where you could always find a variety of Pentecostal churches to attend. While attending the Arlington Church of God at the age of twenty, I believed I was being “called” into the ministry and so I started preaching. The following year I was married. In time, my wife and I eventually ended up in the Assemblies of God where I was a licensed preacher for 27 years.
        There are those who might speculate as to what caused me to change my mind about being a Pentecostal. Did someone talk me out of it? Did I read someone’s book? What happened? I would say it has been a journey. Even though I was exposed to and had learned many incorrect methods and views of Bible interpretation (hermeneutics), I did know, believe and understand that the Bible was/is the word of God and we needed to read it and follow it. For some time, I had recognized certain problems and inconsistencies within the Pentecostal church. These were difficult to overcome at first. But as time went by, I would discover bits and pieces of truth. The problem was, I still couldn’t put it all together. I couldn’t get the full picture.
        During my 50 plus years as a Pentecostal, I had been involved in countless Pentecostal and charismatic influences. It would be safe to say that I have been in hundreds of various meetings or gatherings in one form or another. I attended several meetings involving the “Prophetic Movement.” In one conference we were taught how to prophesy to people. They call it being “activated.” My wife and I made two trips to Toronto for “Catch The Fire” conferences. This is where the famed “Toronto Blessing” took place.
        We spent five months attending the “Brownsville Revival.” When I say five months, I mean we didn’t miss a service unless we were having a service at our church. We were there night after night, often times not leaving until midnight or later. During that period I also served on the Brownsville prayer team. A short time after this five month period at Brownsville, we too started holding similar services at our church. These meetings lasted for a whole year. Various charismatic speakers came and held meetings, praying and prophesying over people night after night, week in and week out. We initially started these meetings with a woman who claimed to have a gift of healing as well as being a preacher, teacher and prophetess. I found out later that she actually believed herself to be an apostle. Our services with her lasted around three months. A variety of speakers came in, each claiming to have their own unique “gift” or “calling.” When we did not have any special speakers, my wife and I conducted the meetings ourselves. During this time a lot of people were prayed for, prophesied over, claimed to see visions and angels, laid in the floor, spoke in “tongues”, shook, vibrated, laughed, cried, wailed, made animal sounds and of course claimed to be healed. However, after a year of this our church was no better off than before. After all the claims of healings, salvations and miracles, no one was any different. After the scores of people who attended and our building being packed night after night, our attendance was less and our finances depleted. By this time, my wife and I felt depleted ourselves. We had put our hearts and souls into these efforts because we believed it to be God- approved; and who doesn’t want to experience the same power and miracles we read about in the New Testament? I can’t tell you how many hours we spent in prayer or the number of meals we fasted, all because we wanted nothing more than God. But after all of this, it wasn’t God that we saw, it was man. From Toronto, to Brownsville, to Cottage Hill, and many more places I could name, there were no miracles, no power, no gifts, no healings, nothing but the theatrical antics and delusions of men. What was claimed for the great power of God was nothing more than musical hype and psychologically induced emotionalism.
        In time, as I reflected over the past two years and then over all of the years I had been in Pentecostalism, I slowly began to realize I was in error. I began to see how deceived I was. Then one night something happened that caused me to completely change course. I kept a Bible by my bedside and would usually read a few verses before going to sleep. As I was reading, I came to John 3:5 where it says, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The phrase, “born of water” stood out to me. In the past I had always read over these words, mentally dismissing them on the basis of what I had heard or been taught. The teaching usually went something like, “the word ‘water’ here doesn’t actually mean water.” For some reason ‘water’ always meant something other than the obvious. That evening I finally decided to accept what I read in the Bible like it was written. I accepted the simple fact that Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said. I realized there was nothing in the context that suggested the word water was anything but water. There was no reason to believe Jesus meant anything other than what He said. It was also obvious that to be born of water referred to water baptism. I found this could be confirmed by other New Testament references such as Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-6,17-18 and 1 Peter 3:21. From that point on I knew I had to find a people who taught the Bible just like it is written without any manmade religious additions.
        A person has to be a realist when it comes to the Bible. As long as people continue to make excuses for the flaws and inaccuracies of their respective denomination, they will never come to the knowledge of the truth. We have to be honest as students of Scripture. If not, the religious discrepancies we see will vanish in the haze of feeble excuses and unsound explanations by false teachers.
        Sometime later, after coming to the Lord’s church, I discovered a saying that had been coined generations ago: “The Bible only, makes Christians only.” There’s one thing for certain, if you follow exactly what the New Testament says without the input of any outside religious source, you will end up being simply a Christian — nothing more and nothing less. You cannot strictly follow the teaching of the New Testament and end up being in a denomination because they all are creations of men. You can only end up a Christian.
        Please understand that what I have to say is not meant as an attack on people. There are many sincere, misguided souls in the Pentecostal and charismatic ranks. I know because I was one of them. However, I will attack the lies and heresies of men. False doctrine(s) should always be exposed. We must be willing to earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).


        Through the years I saw how Scripture was often misunderstood, taken out of context and misapplied. As a Pentecostal, I noticed how we would greatly emphasize some passages and completely ignore other passages. Some verses seemed to hold great authority while others were insignificant.


        Pentecostals fail to accept that New Testament tongue speaking was an understandable language. Acts 2 describes what happened on the day of Pentecost. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
        There is nothing in Acts 2 that would indicate they spoke an unintelligible language or gibberish. The word “tongues” in this passage is glossa...the tongue; by implication a language. The word “utterance” means to enunciate plainly, that is, declare: say, speak forth.
        The continuing context reveals that understandable languages were being spoken. Acts 2:6-11, “Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”
        The word “language” in verse 6 and the word “tongue” in verse 8 is the Greek word dialektos which means a discourse, that is, a dialect; a language or tongue. We can see from the Greek as well as the context that these were known, human, languages.
        I must say in all fairness that now-a-days due to education, many Pentecostals have accepted the fact that “tongues” in Acts chapter two means a known or understandable language. However, every other place in the New Testament where tongues is mentioned they still hold to the idea that it is a non-understandable language, something mysterious. How Pentecostals or charismatics arrive at this conclusion is based on a misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 14. They misunderstand Paul’s meaning of “unknown tongue.” They believe the meaning of “unknown tongue” is something different from the tongues spoken in Acts chapter two. They believe it to be something mysterious and non-understandable. They fail to recognize that the word “unknown” is not in the Greek text and the word “tongue” is the same Greek word as in Acts chapter two.
        It must be remembered that the miraculous gift of speaking in tongues was that a man could speak in a language he had never studied or learned. Nonetheless, it was still an intelligible language because those in the audience who spoke that language could readily understand what he said. What is amazing to me is the fact that Pentecostal and charismatic missionaries, without exception, all either attend language school or work through an interpreter when going to a foreign country while all the time claiming to have the New Testament gift of tongues!
        When we sum it up, it is easily concluded that Pentecostalism makes three mistakes concerning speaking in tongues:
        1) Pentecostalism ignores the law of “first mention.” This simply means that once something is initially established to be a certain thing or way, there is no reason to believe it changes and becomes something different unless the context reveals it to be different.
        2) Pentecostalism fails to understand the meaning of “unknown tongue” in 1 Corinthians 14. It forces an interpretation on the text that is inconsistent with Acts chapter two and the entire New Testament. The word “tongue” in 1 Corinthians 14 is the same Greek word (glossa) as in Acts 2:4.
        3) Pentecostalism fails to understand the context of 1 Corinthians 14. Paul is not praising the Corinthians for their use of tongues, he is correcting their use of tongues. He is basically saying, “You’ve got it all wrong. Tongues are not for personal use or personal satisfaction.” When no one was present to interpret for others to understand, they were to remain silent (1 Cor. 14:27-28).


        Growing up in the Pentecostal Church, I saw that chaos and confusion were eagerly encouraged in worship. This disorder was not only encouraged, but was the gauge by which a worship service was judged. Everyone was encouraged to speak in tongues — all at the same time! This was and is considered to be a spiritual apex in a worship service; a sign of spirituality.
        However, 1 Corinthians 12 clarifies the fact that not everyone would have the gift of tongues. When Paul begins to enumerate the gifts, he starts by saying, “to one is given...” (v.8) in order to indicate that not everyone would have that respective gift. Nor would everyone in the church have a spiritual gift at all. Paul went on to make this clear in the closing verses of chapter 12 where he asked rhetorical questions. “Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret” (1 Cor. 12:30)? The obvious answer to these questions is in the negative.
        Every Christian during New Testament times did not have the gift of tongues. However, when tongues/languages were spoken, there was to be a proper order to their functioning. “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God” (1 Cor. 14:27-28). They were to take turns when they spoke, with no more than two or three taking their turn. There must also be someone to interpret so everyone in the audience could understand what was spoken.
        The idea in Pentecostal worship was that the more people there were speaking in tongues at the same time, the more spiritual your church was —the greater the moving of the Spirit. But this concept is never taught in the New Testament. Notice what Paul says; “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Cor. 14:33). And then in 1 Cor. 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
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After 35 years in the making, a new book, The Preservation Of The New Testament by Roderick L. Ross is now available on CD. This book examines the principles involved in New Testament Textual Criticism. Passages such as Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53-8:11, Acts 8:37, etc. are either removed or doubt is cast upon them by many modern scholars and translators. There are 372 pages of articles, charts and lists. You may review this material at:

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Garland M. Robinson

        The word of God speaks clearly, plainly and with forcefulness against the evils of drinking alcohol. The truth concerning the evils of beverage alcohol is presented so clearly and repeated so often that it cannot be ignored or escaped. Read and study these passages carefully. Most of them have been compiled and printed by others before me.

  1. Genesis 9:20-27. Notice the tragic consequences of Noah’s drunkenness.
  2. Genesis 19:30-38. Drinking resulted in Lot’s depravity and immorality against his own daughters.
  3. Leviticus 10:8-11. The Lord commanded Aaron and his sons not to drink either wine or strong drink while rendering service for God.
  4. Numbers 6:3. A Nazarite vow forbid drinking any form of wine and strong drink.
  5. Deuteronomy 21:20. Drinking is one of the attributes of a stubborn, rebellious, and disobedient son.
  6. Judges 13:4,7,14. Samson’s mother was expressly commanded by the angel of the Lord not to drink wine or strong drink.
  7. I Samuel 25:36-38. Nabal, an evil man, became very drunken and was smitten by the Lord that he died.
  8. II Samuel 11:13. By the use of strong drink, David made Uriah drunk, attempting to hide his adultery with Bathsheba.
  9. II Samuel 13:28-29. Amnon, on a drinking spree, was murdered by the servants of his brother Absalom.
  10. I Kings 16:8-10. While Elah, King of Israel, was drinking himself drunk, one of his captains who had conspired against him, murdered him.
  11. I Kings 20:13-21. While Ben-hadad, King of Syria, and thirty-two other kings were drinking themselves drunk in their pavilions, a small band of Israelites came upon the Syrians and slaughtered them with a great slaughter.
  12. Esther 1:5-22. After a week’s feasting and drinking, King Ahasuerus drunkenly tried to subject Vashti, his queen, to the beastly gaze of the inebriated people and princes.
  13. Proverbs 20:1. No wise person will allow himself to be deceived by wine which is a mocker or by strong drink which is raging.
  14. Proverbs 21:17; 23:21. Drinking and drunkenness leads to poverty.
  15. Proverbs 23:29-30. Strong drink produces sorrow, woe, contentions, babbling, wounds without cause and redness of eyes.
  16. Provers 23:31. An admonition to refrain from even looking upon wine.
  17. Proverbs 23:32. At the last, alcohol bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.
  18. Probers 23:33. It fills men’s minds with impure and perverse thoughts.
  19. Proverbs 23:34. It brings danger, accidents, and insecurity.
  20. Proverbs 23:35. Insensibility follows drinking, rendering man senseless to bodily harm.
  21. Proverbs 23:35. Alcohol is addictive, causing the drinker to seek it again and again.
  22. Proverbs 31:4-5. Government officials are warned to not drink lest they forget the law and pervert judgment.
  23. Proverbs 31:6-7. Drinking causes loss of sober and rational thinking.
  24. Ecclesiastes 2:3. The writer of Ecclesiastes tried strong drink, but in the end admitted that it was vanity (cf. 2:11; 12:8).
  25. Ecclesiastes 10:17. The nation is blessed whose leaders eat for strength and refrain from drunkenness.
  26. Isaiah 5:11-12. Woe is pronounced on those who give themselves to strong drink. It causes disregard for the Lord.
  27. Isaiah 5:22. Woe is pronounced upon drunkards.
  28. Isaiah 5:22-23. Alcohol perverts righteous judgment, taking bribes to justify the wicked and to condemn the just.
  29. Isaiah 5:22-24. Alcohol causes one to cast away and despise the law of the Lord.
  30. Isaiah 22:13. Drinking goes along with carnal living.
  31. Isaiah 28:1. A woe is pronounced upon the drunkards of Ephraim.
  32. Isaiah 28:3. The drunkards of Ephraim would be trodden down and destroyed.
  33. Isaiah 28:7-8. Prophets and priests become incapable of spiritual leadership because of drinking.
  34. Isaiah 56:12. Drinking accompanies foolish optimism and the sinner’s vain hope that his sins will not find him out.
  35. Jeremiah 35:5-8,14,19. The Rechabites, who steadfastly held to total abstinence, were assured of God’s continued blessings.
  36. Daniel 1:5,8,16; 10:3. Daniel, who refused to drink the king’s wine, was especially blessed by the Lord.
  37. Daniel 5:1-2. A tragic example of a king who drank and who led his people to do likewise.
  38. Daniel 5:3-4. Drinking leads to profaning sacred things.
  39. Daniel 5:25-28. Moral degradation, of which drinking is a symptom, is ultimately punished by God.
  40. Hosea 4:10-11. Strong drink and immorality go hand in hand.
  41. Hosea 7:5. The king, by his drinking, was not only made sick, but became scornful.
  42. Joel 3:3. Young women were sold for the price of a drink.
  43. Amos 4:1. Those who lived in luxury in the mountain of Samaria oppress the poor and crush the needy while calling for their drink.
  44. Amos 6:3-6. The evil, idle rich who were given to imbibing wine were not concerned about the affliction of the poor.
  45. Habakkuk 2:5. Arrogance is inflamed by drink.
  46. Habakkuk 2:15. It is wrong to lead another to drink.
  47. Habakkuk 2:16. Drink leads to shame and humiliation.
  48. Matthew 24:48-51. Drinking is not consistent with alertness.
  49. Luke 1:15. The greatness of John the Baptist is linked with his total abstinence.
  50. Luke 12:45. Jesus the Christ warns against drunkenness.
  51. Luke 21:34. Drinking prevents one from being prepared for the judgment day.
  52. Romans 13:13. All are admonished to walk honestly, not in rioting and drunkenness.
  53. Romans 14:21. Christians are admonished not to drink lest a brother be caused to stumble.
  54. I Corinthians 5:11. Christians are forbidden to keep company with those who are drunkards.
  55. I Corinthians 6:10. No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, the preaching of the Gospel must include preaching the damnation of alcohol.
  56. I Corinthians 11:21. The Lord’s Supper is no time for drunkenness.
  57. Galatians 5:21. Drunkenness prevents one from inheriting the kingdom of God.
  58. Ephesians 5:18. Christians are commanded not to be drunk with wine, nor even start the process of becoming drunk.
  59. I Timothy 3:3,8. Elders and deacons must not be given to wine.

        Although there are many instances of drinking in the Bible, it must be remembered they are never set forth and upheld as examples for us to follow. The whole weight of Bible authority is against the manifold evils of consuming alcohol as a beverage. Today, Christian duty makes a tremendous appeal for brethren everywhere to join hearts and hands in an effective program of total abstinence from beverage alcohol —“our fiercest foe.” This terrible scourge upon the family, nation and world, can be driven from many homes and communities when God’s people set themselves to the task to preach and teach God’s word on the subject. When one repents, it will not be found in their house nor upon their lips!
        Many say alcoholism is a disease. I beg your pardon. It’s not a disease, it’s a sin. The Bible calls it drunkenness!
        Peter L. Reamn is credited as the author of the following note. If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only disease that:

  • Is contracted by an act of the will,
  • Requires a license to propagate it,
  • Is bottled and sold,
  • Promotes crime,
  • Is habit-forming,
  • Is advanced by advertising,
  • Is given as a Christmas present.


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Rod Rutherford

        No sincere Bible believer doubts the importance of baptism. The word “baptize” in its various forms occurs nearly 100 times in the New Testament. Jesus himself said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). He commanded his disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19).
        That baptism is required by the Lord cannot be denied. But how should one be baptized? Standard dictionaries commonly define baptism as “a religious rite or act performed either by sprinkling or pouring, or ‘by immersion’.” It must be remembered, however, that dictionaries define words according to their meaning in current usage. To find their meaning in the Bible, we must go to the Bible itself for the correct definition. Thus, we shall learn how God wants penitent believers to be baptized.
        The New Testament was originally written in the common Greek of the first century A.D. To learn the meaning of baptism in the New Testament, let us first look at it in the original language of the New Testament. The widely used Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W. E. Vine says that baptism is from the Greek baptisma, which “consists of the processes of immersion, submersion and emergence.” Thayer’s Greek- English Lexicon of the New Testament defined baptidzo, the verb form of baptisma, as follows: 1. to dip repeatedly; to immerge; to submerge; 2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging; 3. to overwhelm.” In the New Testament then, baptism was an immersion in water and an emergence from the water. Since sprinkling does not involve either immersion or emergence from the water, sprinkling is not baptism in the New Testament usage of the word.
        However, one does not have to be a student of the Greek language to learn how he must be baptized. One can clearly see from our standard English translations that baptism is not sprinkling, but is an immersion or burial in water. In Romans, the inspired writer shows that baptism derives its significance from the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He says: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of Life” (Rom. 6:3-4).
        In baptism, one is buried in the water just as Christ was buried in the tomb. In baptism, one is raised up from the water just as Christ was raised up from the dead. One arises from the water of baptism with his sins forgiven. He is a new creature and has experienced the new birth (read John 3:3-5). Only immersion can show this. Having a few drops of water sprinkled on one’s head can never portray the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
        The New Testament clearly teaches that baptism is an immersion or burial in water. Sprinkling is neither an immersion or a burial. Therefore, sprinkling is not the baptism commanded by our Lord. From this we can only conclude that those who have been sprinkled are yet unbaptized. They must “arise, and be baptized, and wash away their sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
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Lloyd Gale

        Did you hear and understand the question for our consideration?
        It appears that the attitude of some who wear the name Christian is that worship places an undue burden on them. Therefore they find any excuse as a reason to forsake the assemblies.
        These same excuses however do not prevent them from going to work, school or to some social function or activity. When it comes to worship, there are two words that come to mind: attitude and priority.
        Priority is defined as: “Listing items in order of their importance.” God teaches where our priorities begin. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). The things added are all of the other important matters in life. The things people too often put “before” the Lord and His kingdom.
        Attitude is defined as: “State of mind, behavior, or conduct regarding some matter, as indicating opinion or purpose.” It is well described in the song we sing, “Is Your Heart Right With God.” Attitude proceeds actions. Bad attitudes result in bad behavior and produce bad results.
        Good attitudes produce good conduct. David expressed his attitude toward the assembly in his day. “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psa. 122:1).
        Do I look forward to attending the worship services and to the association with fellow Christians or do I see it as a chore? If we are not glad to attend the assemblies and worship God, is it because he has failed to bless us? Are we truly grateful for the blessing we have received and enjoy from the Lord? Do we realize that every good and perfect gift has come down from above (James 1:17)? Must we loose our blessings before we appreciate them?
        Do we understand and mean it when we sing “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings see what the God hath done.”


        Did you ever stop and consider this question? Do we know what God requires of mankind by way of worship?
        When Jesus met the woman in Samaria at Jacob’s well, He spoke these words. “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, where the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24).
        The hour has come when our worship is a must. Christians “must worship God.” Christians must worship God “in spirit.” Since we learn that God is a Spiritual Being and since we also have a spirit within our physical bodies, it is not the flesh that worships God but the spirit within our bodies. As living beings however, our spirits are carried about by our bodies and God has instructed us to assemble at specified times to worship.
        It is equally important that our worship be “in truth.” This means we may not invent our own items of worship, but must employ what the Lord has authorized. This is reason enough not to add instruments of music to worshiping God. They simply are not authorized. Cain learned this lesson when he substituted his item of worship for what God authorized. It was rejected and God called it “sin” (Gen. 4:7).
        According to Jesus, who Himself worshiped the Father, the Father not only deserves to be worshiped but he demands it to be so. Jesus said the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (cf. John 4:23).
        It is in the nature of man to worship. Throughout the ages mankind has worshiped someone or something, tragically in most cases, to false gods and according to human creeds (Matt. 15:9).
        What a blessing it is to come to know the true and living God, to know how this world came into existence, how life began, and to come to realize that we have an immortal, living soul. It is a blessing to know that death is not the end of our existence but that there is a place of eternal love, peace and joy where there is no sickness, pain or sorrow. Praise the Lord!


        Perspective: “The relative importance of facts or matters from any special point of view.”
        What is important in life? What will endure? There are many things that we rightfully seek after in life. We seek good health, a good education, earning a living, marriage, having a family, a proper amount of recreation. But when we learn that which He has revealed to us through His Holy word, we realize that there is more to our existence than these material pursuits. Jesus asked the question: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matt. 16:26)?
        Abraham is called “the father of the faithful” because of his total trust in God. God promised Abraham and his seed a land that flowed with milk and honey. But the fact is, Abraham was seeking a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10). Even though Abraham was promised great material prosperity, he was looking for an eternal city whose maker and builder was God. That’s perspective!


        The ones who were privileged to hear the first Gospel sermon ever preached were described as devout men. They had come to Jerusalem to worship the true and living God. Even though they were mistaken concerning who Christ was and made a grievous mistake in seeking his crucifixion, their motive had been to come to Jerusalem to worship God. The result was that many heard the Gospel and had their sins forgiven; and subsequently, they carried the Gospel back to their home countries (Acts 2). One has to believe that the God they came to worship had mercy on them and granted them the right to hear the saving Gospel. The same was true of Saul of Tarsus who became the great apostle Paul.
        The Ethiopian eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship God and was returning home riding in a chariot through a deserted area. He was searching the scriptures with a desire to understand them when God sent Philip to teach him the Gospel. It saved his soul.
        Cornelius, the first gentile convert, was a man who prayed to God always (Acts 10:2) as he was instructed to do under the law given to the Patriarchs. An angel of God told him to send for Peter who would tell him what to do.
        In Acts 16 we read about a business woman named Lydia who worshiped God and was the first convert on European soil (Acts 16:14).
        As we read these and other Biblical accounts of those who desired to worship God, we find that some traveled great distances to do so, some at great personal expense, some at loss of friendship. But God rewarded all those who placed the Lord as their first priority and who faithfully worshiped God.
        Luke records the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph as they traveled to Jerusalem on a regular and faithful basis. The scripture records that it was their “custom” to do so. In other words, their decision had been made long ago to be faithful to God in every service. It did not require discussion.
        May each one of us examine what our attitude and our priority is toward worship. When we give liberally of our self we are told that God loves a cheerful giver. God has always rewarded those who are faithful. He has done so much more for us than we will ever do for Him.
        What is YOUR attitude toward worship? Assembling for worship is not an option for Christians, it is a command. But it is a command which we should not find to be grievous, but to be a great joy and privilege (Heb. 10:25).
        We should be reminded that God knows our attitude.
                 1186 Martha Leeville Rd.
                 Lebanon, TN 37090

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Charles Box

        While Jesus lived on earth he was concerned about worshipping under the Law of Moses. He would “go up to Jerusalem” to keep the passover (John 2:13). Jesus had the “custom” or habit of worship (Luke 4:16). What a wonderful custom.
        Jesus Cares About The Kind And Quality Of Our Worship. He insists that our worship be kept pure. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). By failing either in kind or quality, our worship becomes vain. “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
        Jesus Cares That Our Worship Must Be After The Bible Order. In New Testament times the people of God assembled on the first day of the week for the purpose of worshipping God (Acts 20:7). True worship consists of what is commonly referred to as five items or acts of worship. They are: preaching or teaching God’s word (Acts 2:42), prayer (1 Thess. 5:17-18), singing (Col. 3:16), partaking of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), and giving (1 Cor. 16:2). Each one must be done in spirit and in truth for God to accept them.
        Jesus Cares Whether Or Not You Are Present For Worship. Christians are to come together on the first day of the week to worship God. We are exhorted to attend all the assemblies (Heb. 10:24-31). If a Christian willfully misses assemblies, he has sinned! Do not be among the fearful and unbelieving, the negligent, those that know God and refuse to obey the gospel, because these are not going to make heaven (Rev. 21:8; Heb 2:1-3; 2 Thess. 1:8-9). Jesus has never forsaken an assembly. Every Christian should want to meet with him (Matt. 18:20). One is made stronger spiritually and is fortified against falling away from Christ by faithful attendance at the assemblies. Why not become a Christian and “continue steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers” (Acts 2:42).

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For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity’ (Phil. 4:15-16). ’I robbed other churches, taking wages [of them], to do you service’ (2 Cor. 11:8). No other provision to raise funds to carry on the Lord’s work is authorized in the Scriptures. Denominational churches, however, have devised other means to ‘raise funds.’ They often have sales of various kinds or other activities like car washes, etc. in order to raise funds. All such things are without the authority of the Scriptures. ...gmr, Editor]. “Thank you for your good work on Seek The Old Paths. Please keep sending it to me. Enclosed is a contribution” ...Ralph H. Thompson, White House, TN. “Bless you for preaching in STOP” ...Lorene Wilson, Binger, OK. “Return to sender” ...Doris Black, Crumpler, NC. “I have always enjoyed the STOP publication and pray that you may always keep up the good work. I have a faithful brother who would like to receive STOP. 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